SANTEE Granite Hills won the Grossmont Hills League girls basketball title a year ago. The four years before that, it was all West Hills.
Now both will hang a banner after host West Hills handed No. 5 Granite Hills its first league loss of the season Friday night, 53-38, to force a tie atop the standings.
Four-year starter Emily Cole led the way, scoring 20 points to help the Wolf Pack (22-5, 9-1) avenge a 59-54 loss to the Eagles (22-6, 9-1) in the first round of league action. It was the seventh straight victory for West Hills, which is looking for a top-four seed in the San Diego Section Division II playoffs, where it finished second a year ago.
“This win was really important,” said Cole, noting that Senior Night may have accounted for why the Wolf Pack fell behind quickly 8-0 before closing the gap to just two points after the first quarter.
“The key was defense because our defense sets up our offense. It’s much bigger to me than in my freshman and sophomore years. We’re co-champions and I’m OK with that because we still get a patch and a lot of their players are my friends.”
Holding the normally high-scoring Eagles to just eight points in the second and third quarters, West Hills built a 37-28 advantage heading in the final eight minutes. Though Granite Hills’ Skylar Williams scored 10 of her team-high 16 points down the stretch, it was too little too late.
Jessica Scott added a 12-point, 10-rebound performance in support of Cole, who counted four long-range 3-pointers among her eight field goals.
As for Granite Hills, the loss could hurt the Eagles’ hopes for the No. 1 seed in Division I at today’s seeding meeting.